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One Night at McCool's

1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by Harald Zwart

The title refers to the night when three men, Randy (Matt Dillon), his cousin Carl (Paul Reiser) and Detective Dehling (John Goodman), all meet Jewel Valentine (Liv Tyler) at a bar called McCool's. Actually, they don't so much meet her as fall under … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Comedies
Cast: Sandy Martin
Director: Harald Zwart
Release Date: 2001
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about One Night at McCool's

A Good Night to get Drunk and Forget

  • Jan 4, 2002
Pros: Last few minutes, Liv Tyler is nice to look at

Cons: The entire first hour and a half of the movie

The Bottom Line: Watch There's Something About Mary instead.

To the bartender (Matt Dillon), she is the perfect trophy, the kind of girl that you will do anything for just to be able to have sex with her and show her off to your friends and relatives. The kind of girl who can manipulate people with a smile and a soft plea: "Pleeeease?". The unattainable standard that he has, through some unimaginably powerful cosmic force, been able to attain.

To the police detective (John Goodman), she is the soft, delicate flower. The sweet, innocent angel from Heaven who, in all her purity, would never think of doing anything to harm anyone in any way, would never think of trying to manipulate anyone, would never perform the things that most hookers perform in wild sex fantasies.

To the lawyer (Paul Rieser), she is the nasty bi!ch. The kind of nasty girl who can, will, and at one point does perform the way his perverted bondage fantasies imagine her to.

The girl in these descriptions is named, appropriatly enough, Jewel. And she just happens to be all three of the above descriptions because she is, truth be told, the manipulative girl that the bartender imagines her to be. And being her victim for the moment, he knows. This girl cost him his job and his home.

It all begins one fine night at his bar, McCools. To the lawyer, she is there and gone in an instant, but the bartender saves her from her abusive boyfriend after closing time. He takes her back to his home to comfort her, giving her water. Water is her second favorite thing. He asks what her first is, and her response is the four letter word for sex that can't be said on Epinions. Naturally, they wind up in bed. Afterward, she reveals her scam, but she likes him so much that she blows her boyfriend's head off because he was planning to kill him. It is here that the detective gets involved, and our bartender takes the fall. While the investigation goes on, Jewel assumes the role of the bartender's live in girlfriend. Since she is obsessed with-get this- houses, she wants him to makes his place into the perfect house. He can't afford to do that, so pretty soon he is robbing other houses for her, while she manipulates the other two main characters to get the legal system working for her.

This is the basic plot of One Night at McCools, which is something of a dark version of There's Something About Mary. Both films involve very sexy women who manipulate the guys around them. The difference is that while Mary actually was the sweet angel that everyone thought her to be, Jewel is the wolf in sheepskin. Mary Didn't know the effect she had on men, but Jewel manipulated them on purpose to get what she wanted. What makes McCools unique in it's own way is that here we get three different points of narration, one from The bartender, telling his story to the retro dressed hitman (Michael Douglas) that he hired to kill her, one from the cop, telling his story to a priest, and the lawyer tells his story to a therapist.

This little point of interest, unfortunately, is one of the only reasons to watch this. The simple fact of the matter is that McCools simply isn't funny. Maybe it's just a matter of taste here, but the movie is just way too raunchy for my liking. There's lots of swearing, sex, and violence-by the end, four people have met their ultimate fates in such ridiculous ways, I wondered if the deaths weren't hastily thrown in to add length or an extra dimension of "humor". One of thses guys dies when a dvd player falls onto his head. You also have Rieser's character throwing his fantasies into his therapy-Jewel wears three different outfits when he tries to describe one scene. The priest that Goodman talks to is horny. These little add-ins do nothing to add to the story or the humor.

The movie does have a few redeeming qualities, though. First, the cast is exceptional. Liv Tyler plays Jewel. She's not much of an actress, and is only eye candy when you look at her from a certain angle, but she is perfectly cast as Jewel, using her soft voice to full effect. Matt Dillon is the bartender, and he convincingly shows us that he knows the difference between right and wrong. He just follows his cock, and not his consience, because he is whipped. Rieser and Goodman are also good, with Rieser turning his Mad About You image 180 degrees. And a VERY underused Michael Douglas plays the hitman. The best character in the movie, he is funny as hell as he hangs on Dillon's every word only so he can fall for Jewel at the end. The only other good thing about the movie is the final shootout in the end, in which Goodman and Jewel's boyfriend's brother shoot it out to the tune of the Village People's "YMCA".

One Night at McCools gets an A for effort for the way the story is told, but in the end it's not enough to balance out the tateless humor. Watch it once to see the cast and the final shootout, then send it back.


Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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